Waitress who paid soldiers’ bill rewarded $10k by Ellen DeGeneres

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Ellen waitress son
A photo of Hoidahl lifting her son into the air is displayed in the background.

Sarah Hoidahl is a 22-year-old waitress at Ruby Tuesday who lives with her mother and 15-month-old son, Ashton. As you can imagine, money is tight. However, when she overheard two National Guard women worried about affording their food because of the government shutdown, Hoidahl covered their bill. As word spread of her good deed, celebrity Ellen DeGeneres heard about it and invited the waitress to her talk show where she planned a big surprise!

DeGeneres asked Hoidahl to tell the audience about her generous act, and the waitress humbly explained why her heart (and hard-earned money) went out to the two uniformed soldiers. “It just got me thinking, ‘Geez, that’s really difficult’,” she said. “I’m a waitress and a single mother. I know how it is.”

After the meal, rather than giving the women their bill, Hoidahl wrote a kind note thanking them for their service to the country and covered their expenses. On the paper, she said, “Thanks to the government shutdown the people like you that protect this country are not getting paid, however I still am. Lunch is on me thank you for serving ladies! Have a good day!”

The two National Guard soldiers were so grateful, they posted the note on their Facebook, and it quickly became popular on the internet. So, DeGeneres surprised Hoidahl on the show with a brand new TV and a $10,000 check!

Images courtesy of The Ellen Show on YouTube.